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Beginner Going from low Db/B to low Bb

Monco

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How can I go from low Db/B to low Bb without getting the C in between? For some reason my pinkie hurts and I can't get it to work smoothly. Here's how my sax looks like:

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dsc03582os.jpg
 

stefank

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Hobart, Tasmania
What we need to be able to is how big the "step up" is from a depressed C# or B key to the Bb key. I had a similar problem with an old T500 tenor - until I took it to a tech.
 

Monco

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From low Db to low Bb. The other way around it's easy.

@Justin Chune: thanks, now I can go from B to Bb... however, from Db to Bb is still problematic. I can't really roll my finger like I can with the B...
 

MandyH

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Practice...
the last notes of my current piece are low B to low Bb (written as A# on the piece, but anyway...)
At first I didn't stand a chance, not only with the fingering, but also with the breathing.
I didn't believe my little finger could or would ever reach those positions.
Practice has made this relatively straightforward.
 

Young Col

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Yes, I think its practice too, Monco. You don't say how long you've been playing. I had the same problem. Getting down to low Bb from anywhere else is hard at first. Practice going down chromatically at first, say from D. That way you relax you embouchure as you go as well. My teacher said that when I'd done it hundreds of times I'd probably be able to pull a truck with my little finger. She was about right!
YC
 
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kevgermany

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Could be a timing issue with your fingering - to get low Bb and B the C# needs to close, if it does it before the B/Bb close, then you'll get a C if you're trying to do this legato.
 

Young Col

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Nick, I thought you were going to say your new book is called "Know your Enharmonics"! E# is a good accidental to catch you out if you're sight reading. Seriously, it looks quite a good book.
YC
 

Two Voices

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I've been playing the Ex1-01 (Warm up and chords tones) on pages 3, 4 and 5) from Taming the Saxophone twice a day. That has helped me immensely with figuring out all my sharps (A#, B#, C#, D#, E#, F#, G#) and flats (Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb. Gb). It has also helped get my fingerings smoother such as going from Low C to Low Eb.
 

Monco

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Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...
 

VirusKiller

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Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...
It's possible that a tweak to the left hand little finger key table might improve things, but I suspect that practice, practice and practice is what will solve your problem! I'm discovering this with many aspects of playing the sax.
 

BigMartin

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Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...

If you can manage to keep the Db down as you slide/roll onto the Bb, the Bb key should push the C#/Db closed with it, so no C. At least, I think that's how it works --- I don't have a sax in my hands at the moment.
 

kevgermany

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If you can manage to keep the Db down as you slide/roll onto the Bb, the Bb key should push the C#/Db closed with it, so no C. At least, I think that's how it works --- I don't have a sax in my hands at the moment.

Low Bb/B don't close the C# - at least not on my instruments. Which is why the C is sneaking in. somehow one needs to press the B/Bb and release the C#, and the B/Bb need to be closed before the C# to avoid the C.
 

BigMartin

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Low Bb/B don't close the C# - at least not on my instruments. Which is why the C is sneaking in. somehow one needs to press the B/Bb and release the C#, and the B/Bb need to be closed before the C# to avoid the C.

Ah, must be a modern thing. It does it on both of mine.
 

kevgermany

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Ah, must be a modern thing. It does it on both of mine.

On all my saxes the B/Bb don't close the C#, this key has to be released to close the tonehole.

So far I'd checked the A Santoni and Kohlert in my sig. I think the Santoni is 60s or 70s, but don't really know.

I've just looked at a modern chinese alto with articulated LH table. Although the B/Bb don't close the C#, when you slide across from C# it's easy to get B/Bb closed before releasing the C#, and this avoids the C creeping in. I guess that's what you mean by B/Bb closing C#. B is easier than Bb.

And on the Kohlert and Santoni it's really difficult to close B/Bb before releasing the C# as you slide across. It may be an adjustment thing, because the Buescher 20A (I'm guessing this is from the 30s or 40s) is easier than these two. Couldn't check the Meindl or Akustic, cos they're in bits awaiting a rebuild.


So the question to Monco is - what are your keys/toneholes doing as you try to move, especially from C# (or Db) to Bb? Maybe some adjustments are needed. Or it could be, as the others said, practice.
 

johnboy

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ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Looking at the pics, the distance the stop, which is on the G# key, has to travel (compared to my saxes), is about right.
There is no link bar between C# & Bb, which causes the Bb key to tilt down with the C# key, when the C# key is pressed (enabling you to roll from one key to the other). Without this bar, there is a step up to the Bb key.
I think this is the problem. I'm afraid you're just going to have to live with it.

John.
 
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